On nearly every trail walk we go on, food is a subject that consistently crops up in our conversations. We tell each other stories about food, we share recipes and the challenges we face with family and food on a daily basis. Of course food keeps us in tip top shape for the Sydney Sole Sisters walking schedule! So here we share some of the fantastic ideas and tips we hear out on the trail with a wider audience.
Changing your man’s eating habits to a healthier diet, and still living together in harmony
No, this isn’t an agony aunt article or a new fad diet, it’s just a subject that I’ve recently been faced with. What initially appeared to be an impossible challenge opened our eyes to some of the bad habits in our lifestyles (even when we think we’re not ‘that’ bad!) Something that has become ‘normal’ in our society today and one which could touch anyone, at any time in their lives…
The story of Gary
From the outside Gary looks fine. He’s not overweight (more of a one pack man than a six pack man), plays golf once a week (ok the battery operated golf trolley does most of the work), doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke. He has a pretty stressful job but what’s new. I’m sure you get the picture!
I think it’s fair to say that men like their food, and Gary is no exception…
Gary enjoys food, even though he knows ice cream, pastries, take away, pizzas, etc are all treats and not daily nutritional necessities. A ‘wakeup call’ is needed to remind you that ‘you are what you eat’ when your body starts rebelling and saying ‘no’. Illness can go undetected for a long time without any obvious symptoms. Men aren’t great at going to the doctor to have a ‘chat’ about their well being!
Well this is exactly what happened to Gary. Like a naughty school boy being reprimanded by his teacher, Gary’s doctor gave him the bombshell news: blood sugar level too high, blood pressure unprintable but flippin’ high (mind you doctors do tend to cause this reaction with some people).
Doctor: ”You need to start taking this seriously…or sugar reducing medication is the only way forward. Health is for life not just for Christmas (as they say!)”
After the initial shock, Gary’s reaction was “Oh” (or a slightly stronger unmentionable word). “How the hell am I going to do this?”
Which is where Gary’s partner comes in to the equation (let’s call her Izzy). As we know, at the end of the day, the only way Gary is going to make this major change in his life (in a sustainable way) is for the person closest to him to help take control of his diet and help him work out what to do! This is no mean feat for anyone: changing long standing behaviour takes courage, patience, understanding and a lot of deep breathing!
Food (generally the bad stuff) is constantly in our vision. From observing men ‘globally’ (well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration), a lot of men find it very hard to make a change in their eating habits.
Izzy isn’t an expert dietitian, nutritionist, doctor, personal trainer, motivator, counsellor – yet these are all the hats she needs to wear. She is an ordinary person who has to help put into practice all the theoretical recommendations the experts churn out, in a way that works for Gary!
There are so many books out there on this subject! Plus an enormous amount of conflicting information on the internet. No wonder everyone gets so confused. But what is fundamentally obvious, the best solution for Gary (and Izzy) is to follow a ‘type 2’ diabetic/low GI diet and life style. In reality, this life style isn’t only for diabetics, it’s a normal, sensible, balanced way of living which everyone can benefit from and there are a lot of yummy recipes out there that provide healthy options!
Healthy Steps Food Challenge #1
How to satisfy a partners very sweet tooth and love of fruit cake – finding a recipe for fruit cake that can fit in to a healthier life style
Impossible I hear you say. But this really simple recipe works. A fruit cake with only ‘3’ ingredients – amazing!! No sugar, no eggs, no butter and no cream. Goes perfectly with a cup of French Earl Grey!
A slice of this fruit cake can be an ‘occasional’ treat for anyone.
Soak 1 kg dried mixed fruit and 500ml of light peach iced tea in a bowl in the fridge overnight. Stir in 350g wholemeal self raising flour then spoon in to a 20cm cake tin. Bake for 2.5hours on 125C at the lower part of the oven. Leave to cool. Will keep in an air tight container for up to 4 weeks.
Healthy Steps Food Challenge #2
Have you got a great recipe or solution to fill the gap of potato crisps? That doesn’t involve rice crackers or anything that tastes like polystyrene?